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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Ben Walsh’s fearless fusion

Soumya Vajpayee, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, November 22, 2012
First Published: 16:31 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 16:34 IST(22/11/2012)

As part of the ongoing Australian cultural festival, Oz Fest, composer and percussionist Ben Walsh will pay a unique tribute to the yesteryear actor and stuntwoman Fearless Nadia, in the city today.

While excerpts from Nadia’s (an Australian, whose real name was Mary Ann Evans) popular films will be played on the big screen, a live score written by Walsh will be performed by the Orkestra of the Underground — a band comprising 13 musicians from Australia and India, including tabla player Aneesh Pradhan.

Ben Walsh

“This performance will be the Indian premiere of a new score that I’ve composed for the 1940 classic film Diamond Queen, which I believe, embodies all the strong characteristics and influential stance on feminism that Nadia possessed,” says Walsh.

The performance will also witness a fusion between western instruments like the saxophone, sousaphone and banjo with the table, harmonium, shehnai and sarangi.

Walsh feels that this project was a rare opportunity for him to use music to tell a story. “I have composed 40 pieces to accompany the film. The project was always about bringing Nadia back into the limelight. Even though we have re-edited the original film for this production, we did not cut any scene that had Nadia in it,” says Walsh, who also performed at the Baaja Gaaja festival in Pune earlier this year.

Talks are on to preserve Walsh’s music at the National Film Archive of India.
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Catch the performance tonight at Liberty Cinema, Marine Lines from 8 pm onwards. Tickets are priced at Rs. 300. Call 6757 4910.

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